This week at TreeHugger: We ring in the New Year with a glass of bubbly and a quick lesson on how to wire up LEDs. Wal-Mart has visions of solar power dancing in their heads, with a new project that could give the retail giant over 100 megawatts of solar power. Lastly, the best of both worlds come together with Compact Impact's handy solar-powered LED mini-light.
For the DIY enthusiast, or anyone who has resolved to do a little more for themselves in 2007, we find a step by step guide to wiring up LEDs for all eco-lighting designers, students and teachers and other enthusiasts out there. It's a great way to insure your new year will be brightly lit and way more efficient than 2006.
Wal-Mart has put out a request for proposals to several large solar outfits for what could easily be the biggest private solar project in history. Google's recent announcement of "solar trees" at the Googleplex (that we covered before) will be 1.6 megawatts; all told, Wal-Mart's project could add up to more than 100 megawatts. Wal-Mart's big stores mean big roofs, and some Wal-Marts are in pretty sunny places with pretty large solar subsidies. The five states that Wal-Mart is investigating — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, and New Jersey — all fit those criteria. Will the sun shine down on the planet's biggest retailer?
Lastly, with one LED story and one solar story in this column under our belts, we turn to one that combines them both into a handy solar-powered LED mini-light. On the opposite side of the solar panel is a mini mirror, which is "Great for checking your teeth after a makizushi meal to make sure no bits of nori are stuck there!" Sushi fan or not, just be sure not to leave the light in your pocket until you need it; anyone looking for a late Christmas present for a TreeHugger now knows where to look.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.